New Delhi, Jul 31: The Centre derives “sadistic pleasure” by inflicting pain and misery on the people of Delhi and “undermining” the democratically elected government here, the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said on Friday.

The party’s reaction comes shortly after Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal rejected the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal-led government’s decision to reopen hotels and weekly markets in the city under Unlock 3. The BJP said the AAP’s statement reflected its frustration and though hotels need to resume operations, health considerations cannot be overlooked.

AAP spokesperson Raghav Chadha said the Centre must stop interfering in the Delhi government’s decisions. “The Centre derives sadistic pleasure by inflicting pain and misery on the people of Delhi and undermining the democratically elected government of Delhi,” he told reporters. In the last few days, Chadha claimed, the Centre interfered in the decisions of the Delhi government several times.

“The first example is the home isolation module which the Centre had earlier opposed but later it had to take back its decision after opposition from people. The second point is the lawyers’ panel of the Delhi government on Delhi riots was changed and then the third example is rejecting the Delhi government’s proposal to open hotels and weekly markets,” he said. The AAP leader alleged that weekly markets are allowed to open in BJP-ruled states despite a bad situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “On June 8, 2020, the Centre allowed operation of hotels and weekly markets but today when we want to open them the Centre is not liking it.

“The second point is that BJP-ruled states, where the people are in a bad situation due to coronavirus, there the Centre has allowed operations of weekly markets and hotels but not here. Thirdly, hotels are operational in neighbouring satellite cities of Noida and Gurgaon but not here,” he said. “This clearly shows the intention of the government,” he added.

Baijal rejected the AAP government’s decision to allow hotels and weekly markets to reopen under Unlock 3 as the COVID-19 situation continues to be “fragile” and the threat is still “far from over”, official sources said. Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor said Chadha’s statement reflects the AAP’s usual frustration whenever the Lt. Governor objects to any of the Kejriwal government’s hasty decisions.

“No doubt the hotel industry, too, needs to be allowed to operate at the earliest, but we can’t forgo health considerations. Anyhow, with tourism and commercial activities at their lowest ebb, there is no demand for hotel rooms, so why politicise the issue,” he said. The Delhi government had on Thursday decided to allow normal functioning of hotels in the national capital as they are no longer attached to hospitals to accommodate COVID-19 patients.

It had also allowed reopening of weekly markets on a trial basis for seven days with social distancing and all necessary coronavirus-appropriate measures in place.

Source : PTI